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doc280

Metallic Grass like taste, need help

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I have been attempting to brew some 5 gallon extract recipe kits but the results have been, well not so good. All the kits have been amber ales or brown ales, but none the same, however each finished beers have the same metallic grass taste. Each sample I have tasted, prior to bottling, has been ok, to this one is going to be great, but the end result still remains the same after four week in the bottle. My Mr. Beer kits still remain great using the the same equipment and bottling procedures.

 

So this is how I am doing things, maybe someone can figure out what I am doing wrong. 

 

1) 2 1/2 gallons of filtered tap water heated to 150F to 160F.

 

2) Grains in the bag and steeped for 20 minutes, a stir of the water at the 10 minute mark and followed by few dunks of the bag.

 

3) Grains removed and wort heated to a boil and flame out. At this time LME added and wort brought back to a rolling boil, hot break observed. 

 

4) Hops added for the 60 minute boil. I have done this comando, but now I am using a hop spider. Hop additions are made at the proper times following the instructions.

 

5) At the end of the 60 minute boil, flame out, hop spider removed, kettle is covered and placed in an ice bath for 30 minutes.

 

6) Two LBKs are sanitized using One Step no rinse.

 

7) Kettle is remove from the ice bath and the wort is transferred and divided into two LBKs and filtered tap water water is added to each LBK, to bring the wort to my 2 1/2 gal mark. 

 

8) The wort is aerated  in each LBK.

 

9) The wort temp is uselly at 65F at this point and the yeast is added. All my batches so far have used S-04.

 

10) The two LBKs are placed in my fermentation chamber and the wort temp is kept at 64F for two weeks.

 

11) After two weeks the wort is transferred into my secondary fermentation LBKs (sanitized with One Step) and placed back in the fermentation chamber for one week. Temp is kept at 64F and if dry hopping is required it is done at this time and I keep the hops in a nylon bag, which are boiled before use.

 

12) After a week in the secondary LBK the fermentation chamber temp is dropped to 40F, for three days. 

 

13) After the cold crash 24 PET 740ml bottles are sanitized using One Step no rinse.

 

14) One teaspoon of Dixie Crystal cane sugar is added to each bottle.

 

15) Each bottle is filled, capped, placed in a box and stored at 70F to 73F for four weeks.

 

I am hoping it is something simple I am missing and just can not see. I have enjoyed brewing the beers, but with undrinkable results, the fun is disappearing quickly.

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It sounds like your methods are correct so it may be either an equipment issue or an ingredient issue.

 

What kind of kettle are you using (aluminum or steel...if steel, what type)?

How fresh are the ingredients you are using? Poorly stored or old grains can cause metallic flavors and old hops can cause grassy flavors.

Also, how long are you dry-hopping? Dry-hopping for longer than 5 days can also result in grassy flavors.

Finally, try using different water. Tap water can sometimes have an overabundance of minerals or chemical treatments that can cause off-flavors, even when filtering. Try using a bottled spring water or purified water (not distilled) on your next batches.

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58 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

It sounds like your methods are correct so it may be either an equipment issue or an ingredient issue.

 

What kind of kettle are you using (aluminum or steel...if steel, what type)?

How fresh are the ingredients you are using? Poorly stored or old grains can cause metallic flavors and old hops can cause grassy flavors.

Also, how long are you dry-hopping? Dry-hopping for longer than 5 days can also result in grassy flavors.

Finally, try using different water. Tap water can sometimes have an overabundance of minerals that can cause off-flavors, even when filtering. Try using a bottled spring water or purified water (not distilled) on your next batches.

I starting with a 3 gallon SS kettle, which was to small. It worked but I was using a slow boil to keep things from boiling over and I thought maybe this was my problem. So I purchased a 5 gallon SS kettle and ramped up the boil to rolling boil. This did not correct my problem.

 

The ingredients are fresh as they are packed after I have placed my order. And as the kits have differed, so have the grains, LME and hops.

 

 

The one brew I dry hopped was for one week , as per directions, but the other 4 brews were not dry hopped at all and the same awful flavor remained the same.

 

Forgot to mention, longer conditioning time does not help.

 

I will try a spring water for the IPA, I am brewing sometime next week, so I can check that one off my list. My Mr. Beer kits are fine with the water I have been using, but maybe something form these kits are reacting to my water.

 

 

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I would remove the transfer to secondary as there is zero reason to do so, and you're possibly aerating the wort.  

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8 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

I would remove the transfer to secondary as there is zero reason to do so, and you're possibly aerating the wort.  

 

This isn't entirely true (unless using Mr. Beer kits, which he is not for these batches). There are several benefits of doing a secondary including clarifying the beer, removing from trub for less esters (I do this for my saisons), bulk aging/lagering, and doing fruit/spice/late hop additions.

 

Oxygenating the wort isn't much of an issue with fresh beer due to the Co2 still off-gassing. This will protect it. You just want to be sure you don't splash and you're filling your secondary from the bottom up with some tubing and not just pouring it in. You can even add a layer of Co2 to the secondary before filling and there are ways to fill into a secondary with a fully enclosed system (ex. using a keg as a secondary with a relief valve). I even sometimes use a tertiary for big beers with a lot of trub or bulk aging.

 

With that said, if he is getting too much oxygen into his beer somehow in his brewing process, it can also cause off-flavors similar to licorice, sherry, or wet cardboard.

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When I have transfer from the primary to the secondary LBK, I connect the hose to the primary spigot and feed the other end of the hose in the secondary, until it sits on the bottom. Then open the spigot and let gravity do it's thing. This does not agitate the wort. Also, and forgive me for not mentioning this, but some of these batches did not go into a secondary. So secondary or not, same bad taste.

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I have been us

8 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

What are you using as a sanitizer?

I have been using the Mr. Beer no rinse and One Step Cleaner. I believe they are the same product.

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15 minutes ago, doc280 said:

I have been us

I have been using the Mr. Beer no rinse and One Step Cleaner. I believe they are the same product.

 

It is. Just making sure you weren't using a chlorine-based product.

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I had a similar problem about 18 months ago.  Do you use a bottling bucket or do you bottle from the LBK?  How old is your bottling wand?

 

In my case, the issue was an infection in my bucket or one of my hoses.  After all were replaced, the issue went away.

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1 hour ago, BDawg62 said:

I had a similar problem about 18 months ago.  Do you use a bottling bucket or do you bottle from the LBK?  How old is your bottling wand?

 

In my case, the issue was an infection in my bucket or one of my hoses.  After all were replaced, the issue went away.

I bottle directly from the LBK spigot, slowly running the wort down the side off the bottle. My secondary LBKs have the new flip style spigot, which I think makes it so easy to fill the bottle without aerating the wort. I do clean the spigot with One Step before bottling.

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Hmmmm....maybe just stick with Mr. Beer kits instead?

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Maybe check your grain crush. I was initially going too fine and had some weird tastes consistently happening. New two roller mill corrected the issue. Don’t give up!

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8 hours ago, doc280 said:

I bottle directly from the LBK spigot, slowly running the wort down the side off the bottle. My secondary LBKs have the new flip style spigot, which I think makes it so easy to fill the bottle without aerating the wort. I do clean the spigot with One Step before bottling.

Following the line begun by @BDawg62, do you disassemble your spigots to clean and disinfect?

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And by disassemble, not just remove, but separate the spigot into separate pieces (the Mr. Beer spigot that swings right to left comes apart into two pieces.  Clean throughly, then before brewing sanitize the pieces, then assemble, then install.

 

I would have asked about sanitizing the hose, but you stated you don't always transfer to secondary and still have the issue.

 

For those with bottling wands, disassemble tip, remove washer and wash all pieces, then reassemble.

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I have been very particular with taking apart and sanitizing everything or like my hops bags, I boil them.

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1 hour ago, doc280 said:

I have been very particular with taking apart and sanitizing everything or like my hops bags, I boil them.

I guess that takes us back to Josh's comment about old ingredients. Makes me think twice about buying one.

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It's either your equipment or your ingredients. It's definitely not magic.

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41 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

It's either your equipment or your ingredients. It's definitely not magic.

 

OMG!  Don't give it away!  

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I thought is was MAGIC, isn't that what the "Bottling Wand" is for?

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I had a rye brown ale in the fermentation chamber which was brewed using my filtered water.

I bottled it, using the One Step, but rinsing the bottles after sanitizing, with distilled water. Also used corn sugar instead of the cain sugar.

The sample taken before bottling, was clear and tasted very good.

 

I have an IPA kit to brew and will be using distilled water and Starsan, in an attempt to obtain better results.

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MrB Josh's point about the milling was not brought up again.

If you are getting the kits from the same place and they mill all the grains there, maybe it is too fine. Or are the problem kits all from different places?

 

So you can analyze - knowing Mr B kit works, and assuming you use the LBK for them what I get is this

 

It has to be the ingredients in the kits you get. Either there is one common bad one or there is some bad process.

The implication is that you get the bad tasting kits from the same vendor.

 

If so test this with a different vendor who makes a kit for similar beers.

 

If the bad tasting kits are from a range of vendors, all I can think it can be somehow  is your process difference, so I would try as close a process to the Mr B as possible.

Or try making a Mr B kit using exactly the same kit /process you make the non Mr B kits kits with.

 

 

 

Bad Beer Taste.png

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13 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Do not rinse bottles after sanitizing.

The One Step, from my understanding works by releasing oxygen during its sanitizing process. 
So when using One Step to sanitize the fermentation equipment should not be a problem because oxygen introduced to the wort is a good thing.

However when using the One Step to sanitize the bottles could be the problem. The residual One Step, left in the bottles after sanitizing, maybe introducing oxygen to the beer after fermentation which could be leading to the bad taste.

Just a theory I am running with, hence the reason for the rinse after sanitizing. Adding distilled water to each bottle, for the rinse, from a sealed gallon jug, seems fairly low risk for contamination.

The use of corn sugar was really the only other thing I could change to the bottling process, which could, maybe, effect the taste.

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I'll disagree with both your conclusions.  

 

One Step / Easy Clean, as well as StarSan, are NO RINSE sanitizers.  So don't rinse.  Simply drain it out and fill the bottles.

 

Whether you use cheap table sugar, corn sugar, DME, honey, or natural sugar you won't notice any taste difference from that small amount of sugar.  None.  I use cheap table sugar.  


Alter your step 5.  Don't cover the kettle while it's cooling.  

 

Also, eliminate the transfer to a secondary fermenter.  Since there is no reason to do so, it only adds risk in the process.

 

If these changes don't help, buy your kits elsewhere, perhaps the supplier is grinding them months in advance and they are stale.

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7 hours ago, doc280 said:

The One Step, from my understanding works by releasing oxygen during its sanitizing process. 
So when using One Step to sanitize the fermentation equipment should not be a problem because oxygen introduced to the wort is a good thing.

However when using the One Step to sanitize the bottles could be the problem. The residual One Step, left in the bottles after sanitizing, maybe introducing oxygen to the beer after fermentation which could be leading to the bad taste.

Just a theory I am running with, hence the reason for the rinse after sanitizing. Adding distilled water to each bottle, for the rinse, from a sealed gallon jug, seems fairly low risk for contamination.

The use of corn sugar was really the only other thing I could change to the bottling process, which could, maybe, effect the taste.

 

This isn't true. The One-Step/No-Rinse (same product) becomes hydrogen peroxide when mixed with water and the ppm of oxygen does NOT affect the flavor or carbonation in any way. This product has been used in homebrewing and professional brewing since the early 90s with great results. There is no need to  rinse the No-Rinse cleanser, hence the name.

Corn sugar does not affect the flavor of the beer, nor does any other sugar you might add. Even honey or brown sugar isn't enough to add flavor to the beer when priming, unless it is a really light beer. Such a small amount of sugar ferments out in the carbonation process leaving no flavor behind. That is why I always recommend priming with corn or cane sugar  (or carb drops) because they are cheaper than the other options and none of them will add any flavor.

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Well I guess the point is something is not right and I am tasting an off favor.

The Rye Brown Ale was fermented and needed to be bottled and there were only really two things I could think of to change during the bottling process.

You guys maybe correct, the rinse and the corn sugar may not make any difference at all. However the definition of insanity is to replete the same actions and expect a different outcome. So I think it was worth the try and if the off favor persist, I have the IPA fermenting which I have used distilled water and sanitised with Star San.

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Is it possible oxidation is occurring during the cold crash since the headspace is being reduced, by filling the LBK to 2 1/2 gallons? 

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i think rick hit it. your supplier is probably using crap ingredients or really old.

 

tap water if chlorinated makes rubbery or band aid tastes.

aeration/oxidation issues usually make wet cardboard tastes.. ive actually got that once in a wine.

covering the pot during boil or while cooling causes dms to fall back into your wort... makes sulfury cabbage tastes.

temp too hot while fermenting? apple cider.

mostly pilsen grain bill and not boiling hard enough or long enough makes sulfur tastes.

really really old hops improperly stored make strong cheese like smells and tastes.. think unwashed feet.

oxidized grain can make metallic flavors. <-  rick mentioned this.  damn he's good! i had to look it up.

 

re pot- ive done batches in stainless and aluminum. ive used an old oxidized aluminum pot once or twice without any significant impact.

 

since you just cant get it to come out right...  if you have about 100 bux laying about and think you will eventually go into full grain brewing down the line you can invest in a grain mill. change your dealer. get the grains uncrushed and when ready to brew crush them yourself.  or do what i did on small batches.  get your steeping grains uncrushed and when ready,  put them in a bag and smash them with a rolling pin...  you are cracking not pulverizing the grain. you dont want to turn it into flour. my first time doing this i used a hammer and beat the snot out of them. lol...  live and learn.

 

i got a northern brewer all grain kit. the grain sat crushed in the plastic they shipped in for 1.5 months.  it came out just fine.  i imagine it is because nb tends to use quality ingredients and takes the care to immediately seal what they crush before shipping.  some other vendors might bulk crush grain and leave it sit open for months before selling. who knows? if you got your kits from NB then maybe things have changed there? who knows. diagnosing off flavors is sometimes like playing doctor or auto mechanic.

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6 hours ago, zorak1066 said:

Diagnosing off flavors is sometimes like playing doctor or auto mechanic.

 

Fortunately, I was a better EMT and I am a better car mechanic than a describer of off flavors.

 

I did take some advice and let a local home brewer sample what I had. He was able the pick out the gains and hops used. He also said it was just a touch over carbonated and being at the upper range of the screwy brewer's recommendation, this is no surprise. 

The big thing was he was not getting the flavors, I was getting. He said he was tasting oxygen in the samples, while finishing each sample off saying they were not bad at all.

So maybe my tastebuds are just very offended by oxidation. This is the reason I was asking about the cold crash and the possibility of it drawing in oxygen during the process.

All these kits are from Northern Brewer and are supposed to be packed fresh, plus the kits have had different types of gain.

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Northern Brewer should be good, although they were bought by AB-InBev...

 

I suggest you review common beer off flavors: http://howtobrew.com/book/section-4/is-my-beer-ruined/common-off-flavors 

 

14 hours ago, doc280 said:

Is it possible oxidation is occurring during the cold crash since the headspace is being reduced, by filling the LBK to 2 1/2 gallons? 

 

No, it's not possible.  I brew 2 1/2 gallons in the LBK all the time.  

 

Stop doing secondaries.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Stop.  

 

And, uncover the pot during cooling.  

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Not all have went into a secondary and I will try the next batch uncovered while in the ice bath.

 

The IPA I have in the primary now, the instructions say two weeks in the primary, transfer to the secondary for two weeks, dry hop for a week then bottled. Rick are you saying skip the secondary, but follow the rest of the instructions and times?

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If you are transferring to secondary, how are you accomplishing this?  If you are using a racking cane to move the beer from a 5 gallon carboy to an LBK then try replacing the racking cane and tubing.

 

I have only used a secondary twice and that was when I racked my initial batch onto cherry puree and recently I split a 5 gallon batch in the middle of fermentation and added orange zest to half of it.  The 1st half stayed in the original fermentor.

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1 hour ago, BDawg62 said:

If you are transferring to secondary, how are you accomplishing this?  If you are using a racking cane to move the beer from a 5 gallon carboy to an LBK then try replacing the racking cane and tubing.

 

I have only used a secondary twice and that was when I racked my initial batch onto cherry puree and recently I split a 5 gallon batch in the middle of fermentation and added orange zest to half of it.  The 1st half stayed in the original fermentor.

I transferred from the primary LBK to the secondary LBK, by way of tubing, making sure the end of the tube was in the bottom of the secondary so no splashing occurred.

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the same general guideline used here for mr beer works in practice for just about every beer batch size and every style :

 

ferment 3 weeks.

check for gravity to be stable.

bottle with priming sugar

move bottles to a 70+f room.

let them sit for 4 weeks.

chill and enjoy.

 

i have been doing this for nearly every batch for about 5 years.  i have only secondary fermented maybe 2 beer batches. one was a RIS.  the other was an all grain batch that just would not clear. it is not necessary.  secondary fermentation opens your process to a high risk of oxidation, infection, etc.   my RIS i was careful to the extreme. slow transfer.. top off the minimal headspace with co2 (food grade containered.. no oil)..  etc etc etc. i could have just bottled , carbed and let it sit in the bottle for 2-3 months or more.

 

nearly all of northern brewer's kits use a secondary fermenter i think.  again.. not necessary.  leave the beer in the fermenter. the co2 blankets the beer and will keep it from oxidation while the flavors meld and better themselves.   i dont worry about headspace in the primary over 3 weeks. i have a 6 gallon bucket now with a 3 gallon batch sitting unopened in week 2 of fermentation.  it's fine.

 

to dry hop...  use a sanitized mesh hop sack. add the hops. add a sanitized shot glass for weight. tie it off with a sanitized string.

before opening your fermenter, be it a bucket or lbk...  give it a spray of starsan or other no rinse sanitzer. make sure your air or heater is not running if anywhere near a vent.

 

clean hands...  gently open the fermenter to not jostle it around. gently lower the hop sack in and let it sink. seal it up.

 

doing a hop sack like this when dry hopping keeps risk of contamination and oxidation down. the weight keeps the hops in full contact with the beer. this improves your utilization of the hops. . . and makes bottling easier. no cold crash needed.

 

if you dont have a mesh hop sack..  ask the wife or gf for a nylon knee high. wash it. sanitize it. there ya go. instant hop sack. or go to home depot in the paint section and get a 1 gallon paint strainer mesh bag.  wash / sanitize...tada.  i use them all the time.. both 1 and 5 gallon size.

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17 hours ago, doc280 said:

Not all have went into a secondary and I will try the next batch uncovered while in the ice bath.

 

The IPA I have in the primary now, the instructions say two weeks in the primary, transfer to the secondary for two weeks, dry hop for a week then bottled. Rick are you saying skip the secondary, but follow the rest of the instructions and times?

 

I don't know their instructions.  Here is what most of us follow:

 

3 weeks fermenting, never use a secondary.  Dry hop at day 14.  Ferment at 65 wort temp (Mr. Beer yeast, S-05, S-04...). 

 

Bottle and store at 70 or higher, not exceeding 80, for four weeks.

 

Put 1 bottle in the fridge for 3 days, then try it.  Then put the rest in, only as you need them to drink, for at least 3 days.

 

I have been brewing for 6 years and have never used a secondary.  

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1 hour ago, RickBeer said:

 

I don't know their instructions.  Here is what most of us follow:

 

3 weeks fermenting, never use a secondary.  Dry hop at day 14.  Ferment at 65 wort temp (Mr. Beer yeast, S-05, S-04...). 

 

Bottle and store at 70 or higher, not exceeding 80, for four weeks.

 

Put 1 bottle in the fridge for 3 days, then try it.  Then put the rest in, only as you need them to drink, for at least 3 days.

 

I have been brewing for 6 years and have never used a secondary.  

I  have been using the Mr Beer since 2013 and have never used a secondary. The beer is usually pretty clear. (Not crystal like filtered  beer, see the beer pics I have posted) but it depends more on the yeast I think. I store my beer at mid 60's in basement. The carbonation takes a little longer than at 70 deg but it still gets there. 

 

I think it may depend how long you want to wait before drinking it. For me it also depends a bit on the yeast. Yeasts that are highly flocculent give me much clearer beer.

I can see if you are wanting to force carbonate and drink within a couple weeks, then you may want to accelerate the clearing process.

I can see if you want to bulk prime before bottling a secondary container would be needed to avoid mixing trub in.

So there may be good reasons to use a secondary depending on one's process.

 

I like things easy with minimal cleanup so I use just the LBK.

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Ok, this is what I have planned for the IPA, which is in the fermenter.

 

The fermentation of the IPA has been kept at 62F and seems happy, so I will keep it their.

 

Day 14 in the fermenter, dry hop, using a sanitized hop sack weighted with a 1 inch glass cat's eye. Again making sure everything is sanitized and gently place the hop sack in the LBK.

 

Just plan to skip the cold crash with this one and if the beer is drinkable, will  brew another batch to compare the difference.

 

Day 21 rinse my already clean bottles and sanitize them with Star San. I have some corn sugar left, so I am going to prime with both corn sugar and table sugar.

Bottle using my new bottling wand.

Cap and store at 73F for four weeks.

 

Does this sound about right?

 

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Yes.  Then put only a bottle or two in the frig for 3 days.  Taste, if good, then only put in what you'll drink 3 days later, and keep the rest out at room temp.  

 

3 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

I can see if you want to bulk prime before bottling a secondary container would be needed to avoid mixing trub in.

 

Batch priming does indeed involve putting the beer in a second container (I use a slimline purchased at Walmart).  However, that's not a secondary, because zero fermentation or resting is taking place.  Beer and sugar solution goes in, then come out within minutes.  It solely serves to mix the two together without stirring up the trub in the fermenter.  I just did 44 bottles of Mr. Beer Apricot Wheat, except I use 1 can of apricots per batch, and 1/2 the Cardamom.  

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7 hours ago, RickBeer said:

.  I just did 44 bottles of Mr. Beer Apricot Wheat, except I use 1 can of apricots per batch, and 1/2 the Cardamom.  

Did you blend up the apricots? put them whole in a bag? or what?

 

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11 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

Did you blend up the apricots? put them whole in a bag? or what?

 

 

I add the fruit at 2 weeks.  See step #6.

APRICOT WHEAT INSTRUCTIONS

RECIPE INCLUDES:

  • 1 Can Bavarian Weissbier Brewing Extract
  • 1 Packet Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of Brewing Extract)
  • 1 BrewMax LME SoftPack - Pale
  • 1 Packet No-Rinse Cleanser

YOU PROVIDE:

  • 2 Cans of Apricots in Heavy Syrup (16 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoonful Cardamon seed, toasted

WARNING: Due to the large amount of fruit, your keg may overflow or explode! Maintaining proper fermentation temperatures is key to preventing this problem. (See brewing instructions for details).

Additional Information


  • OG: 1.044 (approx.) -- FG: 1.011 (approx.)
  • Flavor: Fruity
  • ABV (alc/vol): 4.5%
  • SRM (Color): 4
  • IBU (Bitterness): 19
  • BJCP Style: 29. Fruit Beer - 29A. Specialty Fruit Beer

Ferme­ntation

Carbo­nation

Bottle Condi­tioning

 

Total Brew­ing Time

3 Weeks 3 Weeks 1 - 3 Weeks = 2 Months

 

 

STEP 1: SANITIZING

Follow the steps outlined in your Mr. Beer Kit Instructions. (You can find a copy of these instructions to download by visiting our help desk.)


NOTE: BE SURE TO SANITIZE EVERYTHING THAT WILL COME INTO CONTACT WITH YOUR BEER. 
 

STEP 2: BREWING

Brewing beer is the process of combining a starch source (in this case, a malt brewing extract) with yeast. Once combined, the yeast eats the sugars in the malt, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is called fermentation. 
 

 

STEP 3: BOTTLING AND CARBONATING

Follow the steps outlined in your Mr. Beer Kit Instructions. (You can find a copy of these instructions to download by visiting our help desk.)

    1. In your sanitized blender, purée the fruit with the syrup, and set aside to add later.
    2. Remove the yeast packet from under the lid of the can of the Brewing Extract, then place the unopened can and LME softpack in hot tap water.
    3. Add the cardamom seeds to your 3-quart or larger pot, then increase the heat to medium, toast the seeds until they give off a faint aroma. Using the measuring cup, pour 4 cups of water into the pot. Bring water to a boil, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat
    4. Open the Brewing Extract and LME softpack, and pour the contents into the hot mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed. This mixture of unfermented beer is called wort.
    5. Fill keg with cold tap water to the #1 mark on the back.
    6. Pour the wort into the keg, and then bring the volume of the keg to the #2 mark by adding more cold water. Add in pureed fruit. Stir vigorously with the spoon or whisk. 
    7. Sprinkle the yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir. 
    8. Put your keg in a location with a consistent temperature between 65° and 80° F (18.3°-26.6° C) and out of direct sunlight. After approximately 24 hours, you will be able to see the fermentation process happening by shining a flashlight into the keg. You'll see the yeast in action in the wort. The liquid will be opaque and milky, you will see bubbles rising in the liquid, and there will be bubbles on the surface.
    9. You’ll ferment for 21 days total. Your fermentation will usually reach its peak in 2 to 5 days (this is also known as “high krausen”). You may see a layer of foam on top of the wort, and sediment will accumulate at the bottom of the fermenter. This is totally normal. Complete fermentation will take approximately 2 weeks. After high krausen the foam and activity will subside and your batch will appear to be dormant. Your beer is still fermenting. The yeast is still at work slowly finishing the fermentation process.

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I know I am bad, but I wanted a brown ale to go along with an aged steak which I was preparing. The Private Rye was bottled two weeks prior and following it's instructions, it was ready to go. So I place the two trub bottles in the refrigerator 48 hrs prior to meal time.

 

Now the only things I have changed with this batch -vs- my failed batches are the use of us-05, instead of u-04, the rinsing of the bottles with distilled water after sanitizing with One Step and corn sugar instead of table sugar.

 

At the first sip I thought I tasted a slight hint of the off favor I had got with the previous batches, but once drinking more I no longer noticed any off flavor and started enjoying the creamy biscuit, caramel, and cocoa flavors. Not the best summertime beer, very rich, but goes great with a good steak.

 

Looking forward to returning back to Private Rye in another two weeks. 

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You're not drinking out of the bottle, are you?

 

And how do you have TWO trub bottles?  You're not emptying the trub into bottles, are you?

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2 hours ago, RickBeer said:

You're not drinking out of the bottle, are you?

 

And how do you have TWO trub bottles?  You're not emptying the trub into bottles, are you?

Drinking out of the a bottle, No, I am civilized, well at least my wife has got me to that point.

 

Two trub bottles, because there are two LBKs.

 

The last remaining beer, which is sitting on the trub, in each fermenter, is filled into a bottle. Cold cashing keeps the trub cake intact and out of the bottles. I call the last bottle, being filled, from each LBK, the "trub bottle", because the beer was sitting on the trub, the bottle is not always full and after the bottle is filled I prime it with the estimated proper amount of sugar to volume. This is the only bottle I prime after filling, being as I am unsure of the amount of beer which will be in the bottle.

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Sounds good.

 

Just wanted to make sure you weren't drinking trub, or mixing it in the bottle, then noticing a taste problem.

 

Drinking out of a glass, even for beer not carbonated in the bottle with sugar, is essential for proper tasting.  The NOSE needs to be part of the process, which is why you see new cans removing most/all of the top.  

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Ok, I got the IPA dry hopped yesterday. Boiled the hop bags, the two shooter marbles and then added the hops to the each bag, tying them off. Placed a bag, gently, into each of the LBKs and they slipped away into the depths.

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1 hour ago, RickBeer said:

Boiled the string too?

Yes, it is a draw string, part of the bag. I also sanitized the plate, which I placed the bags on, my hands and wiped the lid area, of the LBK, with Star San.

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11 hours ago, RickBeer said:

Good that you didn't boil your hands ;)

No doubt.

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Top of the eighth and with how the game is going, a good time for a Private Rye three week report. Three weeks after being bottled, I have to say things have not got better. The off flavors, I get, are more prevalent and the good favors have diminished. The brew still remains drinkable however I am not enjoying it as much as week two. I would say it is a little dryer then week two also.

IMG_20180526_153957.jpg

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CO2 absorbs into cold beer, is released as beer warms.  3 days pulls it in good.

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10 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

CO2 absorbs into cold beer, is released as beer warms.  3 days pulls it in good.

Yes, the three bottles were in the refrigerator for three days. I like the level of carbonation, no problem there. Just the off favor, I taste and smell, is taking over. 

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At week four, or so close to week four to call it week four, in the bottle, the Private Rye is dead. Yes dead, the off flavor has taken over and to my tastebuds it is no longer drinkable. 

So in a recap of the Private Rye-

At time of bottling the favors were very good.

At week two in the bottle, the flavors were good with just a hint of the off flavor.

At week three, the off flavor was taking a strong hold over the beer's flavor profile, but still drinkable.

At week four, the beer is dead.

 

These bottles of Private Rye were kept at 73F until three days before drinking, at which time were placed in the refrigerator. 

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So, to summarize:

 

1) You've brewed Mr. Beer kits as well as extract kits from Northern Brewer.

 

2) You're using the same process (once the extract kit boil is done) from that point on.

 

3) The Mr. Beer kits taste great.

 

4) The Northern Brewer kits taste like crap.

 

5) The only difference is the ingredients.  

 

In my infinite wisdom (not that I have any), the issue clearly is with your kits from Northern Brewer.  Perhaps it's AB In-Bev infection?  

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Yes to all.

Not that I know anything much, but could oxidation be more pronounced to me, with these kits using fresh hops?

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No.

 

Could they be providing stale hops?  Smell them, if they smell like cheese they are stale.

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4 hours ago, RickBeer said:

No.

 

Could they be providing stale hops?  Smell them, if they smell like cheese they are stale.

No cheese smell. I have been using their pellet hops and they have always smelled wonderful.

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A recap of the Kama Citra IPA, which was bottled today.

 

Kama Citra IPA extract kit 5 gallon.

Water used -distilled.

Sanitizer - Star San.

Gains steeped 150F for 20 minutes.

60 minute boil - the different hops added at directed times. Hop spider used.

Wort cooled in ice bath 25 minutes.

Wort placed in two LBKs and distilled water added to bring up to the 2 1/2 gallon mark.

Wort was 68F when US-05 yeast was pitched.

The LBKs placed in the fermentation chamber with temp set at 62F.

At 14 days dry hopped. Hops placed in a hop bag, weighed down with a one inch glass marble.

Day 21 bottled - 12 bottles primed with corn sugar (had some left over) - 12 bottles primed with cane sugar. Bottles filled directly from the LBK spigot using a bottling wand.

Bottles stored at 73F in the dark.

 

At bottling the sample taken had a blonde yellow color with a slight haze, nice citrus smell and very pleasant citrus hop flavor. I would call this a pale ale (maybe the hop spider and hop bags limited the hop favor transfer), but I love it, just hope the off favor does not get it.

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Seven days in the bottles, at 73F, and the IPA, has carbonated nicely. I feel no pressure differences between the bottles primed with corn sugar and table sugar. Also the clarity, of the IPA, has come though showing very little of the haze, which it showed before.

 

Since the carbonation level is good I have placed one primed corn sugar bottle and one primed table sugar bottle in the refrigerator, for a one week tasting. 

IMG_20180607_114132.jpg

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18 hours ago, doc280 said:

Seven days in the bottles, at 73F, and the IPA, has carbonated nicely. I feel no pressure differences between the bottles primed with corn sugar and table sugar. Also the clarity, of the IPA, has come though showing very little of the haze, which it showed before.

 

Since the carbonation level is good I have placed one primed corn sugar bottle and one primed table sugar bottle in the refrigerator, for a one week tasting

 

 

I give up...

 

A one week tasting?  Really?

 

Your beer needs to carbonate and CONDITION.  One week in the bottle has not accomplished that.  You're simply wasting beer.

 

And there will be zero difference in carbonation levels between the proper amount of corn sugar vs. the proper amount of table sugar.  Zero.

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29 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

I give up...

 

A one week tasting?  Really?

 

Your beer needs to carbonate and CONDITION.  One week in the bottle has not accomplished that.  You're simply wasting beer.

 

And there will be zero difference in carbonation levels between the proper amount of corn sugar vs. the proper amount of table sugar.  Zero.

 

All true.

 

Great advice, but letting folks experiment to learn is good. Maybe they will discover something new, or if it turns out bad, reinforce their confidence in the advice B)

 

- but some people like to make their own mistakes.

 

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2 hours ago, RickBeer said:

 

I give up...

 

A one week tasting?  Really?

 

Your beer needs to carbonate and CONDITION.  One week in the bottle has not accomplished that.  You're simply wasting beer.

 

And there will be zero difference in carbonation levels between the proper amount of corn sugar vs. the proper amount of table sugar.  Zero.

Well, there is nothing to panic about here and if I loose two bottles of beer, so be it, I have been pouring out 5 gallon batches of undrinkable beer.

 

The reason for a one week tasting, is some have reported this IPA as being better early in the bottle, in little as one week. So why not a one week tasting to understand how it is maturing in the bottle.

 

The early tasting of the Private Rye, it tasted good, four weeks in the bottle it was undrinkable. Wish I had put a few more in the refrigerator, I might have enjoyed them, instead of pouring them down the sink.

 

I know this is not the normal and I have or had (hoping) a problem. To not look under every stone at this point, I believe would be very foolish.

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Congratulations, you have finally gotten @RickBeer to give up.  That is a feat worthy of a medal. :lol::lol:

 

It is your beer and you can do what you want with it.  I always drink a bottle after a week of carbonation.  It lets me know how my carbonation level is progressing and how the beer is progressing.  I always drink at least a couple of ounces at bottling so I can see the changes starting to happen. Not to mention, I don't have the patience to wait longer to see how my batch turned out.  They do change as the weeks go by but in the end it is your beer. 

 

And by the way, you aren't wasting it by drinking it, you are just converting it to waste water.

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This is the one week in the bottle tasting and this is what I have. 

 

The smell is clean with hop and citrus, zero off smells.

 

The appearance is a little darker than I expected and it may have just a touch of chill haze, but overall I am not complaining. I have been reading about late extract additions, which should lighten the color and a cold crash may help with the chill haze.

 

Carbonation is, to me, perfect and nothing to change here.

 

Taste, first I would not call this an IPA, but a pale ale and do not get me wrong this is not a bad thing. It has a very nice mid-range bitterness, it is light but with a pop of citrus......more specific grapefruit....there is a pop of grapefruit. There are zero off flavors, sorry getting excited here, but this has to be the most perfect summer time, hot weather beer I have ever had. This is the beer I want when I am at the ballpark watching nine innings in the dog days of August.

 

I know there is the chance they may get better with a little age, but there is a chance that awful off favor takes over and I loose the whole batch. Yes better put a few more in the refrigerator.

IMG_20180609_154657.jpg

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Ok, really who can stop at one? Yes I had to do it, I had to open the bottle primed with corn sugar and drink it too. Now I know everything I have been told and read says there will be no difference between the table sugar and corn sugar, however in the one week tasting I have to say there is. The corn sugar primed bottle is little more bitter, not bad, but I do prefer the table sugar primed bottle better at this point.

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I will bet that a true blind taste test would show you that you have no idea, since we there is no difference.

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18 hours ago, doc280 said:

Ok, really who can stop at one? Yes I had to do it, I had to open the bottle primed with corn sugar and drink it too. Now I know everything I have been told and read says there will be no difference between the table sugar and corn sugar, however in the one week tasting I have to say there is. The corn sugar primed bottle is little more bitter, not bad, but I do prefer the table sugar primed bottle better at this point.

Drinking 2 bottles after only 1 week? Can tell the difference between sugars? Now, I know you're having fun poking the bear, but none of us want to see @RickBeer get all riled up again. LOL.

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12 hours ago, D Kristof said:

Drinking 2 bottles after only 1 week? Can tell the difference between sugars? Now, I know you're having fun poking the bear, but none of us want to see @RickBeer get all riled up again. LOL.

I really am not trying to stir things up, just trying to report my findings as they develop. 

I will place one bottle primed with table sugar and one primed with corn sugar in the refrigerator at the same time and do a blind taste test, after three days. 

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The two week tasting results are in. There are no indications of off flavors forming. The taste and feel remain the same as week one.

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The blind test taste, two bottles of Kama Citra IPA, carbonated and conditioned in the bottle for one week. One primed with table sugar and one primed with corn sugar and these were refrigerated for one week.

 

Earlier in this thread I mentioned I could taste a difference with the corn sugar being more bitter. In the blind tasting the two samples were poured the same way in the glass and well there is a visual difference, captured in the picture below. 

 

I had my wife hand me the samples randomly, while my were closed, no peeking, and these are the results.

 

Three out of three times, it was very easy to taste the difference between the two samples. The sample which tasted more bitter and had less aroma came from bottle primed with corn sugar. The sample which was less bitter, smoother mouth feel and stronger aroma was from the bottle primed with table sugar.

 

Now in four weeks there may be no difference between the two samples, however with one week of conditioning, there most definitely is. Although the bottle primed with corn sugar holds a better head, the taste, aroma and mouth feel of the bottle primed with table sugar wins out.

 

The below picture, the table sugar sample is on the left and the corn sugar sample is on the right.

IMG_20180618_145315.jpg

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That's one heckuva palate you have there, @doc280!

 

Do you plan on doing another blind test at the four-week point?

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7 minutes ago, Shrike said:

That's one heckuva palate you have there, @doc280!

 

Do you plan on doing another blind test at the four-week point?

Really the differences between these samples was so dramatic a heckuva palate was not required. I have put bottles of each version away for future sampling at different time periods, just for my curiosity. If you guys would like me to do them blind, I can do that and post the results.

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Three weeks conditioning in the bottle and the good news is no off flavors, however something has changed. The IPA remains good, no very good, but I sense a loss of some of the citrus punch, it had before. I have been drinking this brew now for three weeks, so maybe I have become muted to citrus flavor. But I  do believe the citrus is waning. The bitterness between the two samples is now very close to one another, but the corn sugar sample has a feel of more more carbonation and I like it better.

IMG_20180625_145546.jpg

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On 6/25/2018 at 4:19 PM, doc280 said:

But I  do believe the citrus is waning

 

Unfortunately, hop aroma tends to dissipate quickly. This is why typically, IPAs are better fresh. 

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Week four conditioning in the bottle and here are the results, for this Kama Citra IPA. Now I have not been drinking, any of this brew for the past week, so I am coming back to it kinda fresh. It definitely has that familiar citrus note when bringing the glass up and a slight grapefruit taste at the end. There are no off flavors and I would say nothing has really changed from last week.

 

This is the last of the Kama Citra IPA, so after my four weeks of taste samples and many pints in between, this brew is better young and green, week one was the best. The reason week one was the best was the citrus pop it had. By week two the pop was diminished to fizzle and by week three, it is there, but you are searching for it.

 

The great thing is no signs of the off favors of my previous failed batches. I am leaning towards the reason for my earlier failures, but the Nut Brown Ale, which is in the LBKs, I think will tell me more.

IMG_20180701_165055.jpg

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